Luke 9: 23, is potentially one of the most well known verses in the bible, but also one of the most forgotten or scoffed at verse in the bible. If you haven’t read the first two posts in this series it will make little sense, so please go back and read it.
When we think about picking up your cross daily and following Jesus, in the context of a sermon people generally nod as if this is something every christian should experience. However when you talk to friends about it in real ways it because much less accepted. I think it is because it sounds dramatic. It sounds like I need to stop being so melodramatic, but I don’t think that’s true.
I firmly believe that I ’should’ be dead, as far as the world goes, people with my persistence shouldn’t be here, my life screams, why is she still here. But I also know as far the Lord goes, I was always meant to be here, always meant to be writing this post (when I should be revising – I’ve got resits), I was always meant to go what I do to show you how powerful the lord is. To show you when he says he transforms lives, he transforms people who you would least expect him too.
Without the lord I wouldn’t be alive (ask any of my close friends), without the lord I would be a 20 year old memory in 20 years, instead of a 40 year old (honestly the thought of a 40 year old Abbie is weirding me out). He literally saved my life (salvation and prevented my attempted suicides from actually working – if you want to know the details send me a message). I still don’t know why he did that, and sometimes I wish he didn’t. I know this is hard to here especially if you love and know me, but it’s important, because if this is my experience i can’t be the only one.
You may be on the verge of going through with your attempt, you may be sitting in a hospital bed just after it. No matter where you are, you are homesick. You long to be in a better place (regardless whether you are a Christian or not), and the God of the bible wants to offer you a permanent home, and all you have to do is to admit your sin and trust that Jesus has paid for it. But even for the christian, if your homesick I am going to assume that, that doesn’t fill you with comfort, because you feel all to well how broken this world is, how broken you are, how broken your life seems. And you want that truth now, I know I do. But I will say that for us, we need to hold each others hand and walk forward one step at a time. Because you know that although it is possibly the hardest thing you will go through, there is a beautiful thing about him choosing to show his redemptive story through broken sinful people like us.
To live through my homesickness, I have to deny myself. Because as I said in the last post, it isn’t something I can easily cure. There is no godly way to get rid of it, obviously there is ways to deal with it, but not to get rid of it completely.
To live through all of the symptoms of homesickness, all of the yearning and the longing, takes me to have to lean on my lord. Because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do it. To live through the clear difficulties in my communication with my Lord, is very difficult.
To live through my depression is denying myself. It goes against everything I think or feel or feel I know. It is very easy for me to give up. For me to know longer care about fighting, about God, about myself.
But whereas some of my other struggles and the struggles of a lot of other people face is that they are private (which is not necessarily a good thing) but it does make things challenging. When I slip up, when I give up people know. This is because my ‘slip ups’ normally land me hospital (and I have found that is a very difficult thing to hide). But not ending up there, is difficult. It means going against what I want, what I feel I need, it means that I can’t indulge the thoughts, it means that I have to lean on the Lord. When I don’t, things can get very difficult very fast.
The thing about me, is my depression is very public. Partly due to my own doing (i.e. the blog, but there is a lot I don’t share on here), but partly due to how my depression fleshes itself out in my life. My suicide attempts are public without my agreement, just because of the nature of it.
But there is a beauty to it, there is a beauty to denying yourself, because through denying your flesh it’s desires and choosing to lean on the one that knows your desires and wants but more importantly your needs, that is where you truly find yourself, but even better it’s where you truly find him.